Friday, November 5, 2010

Heard On... Cedar Fair 3rd Quarter 2010 Call

This week also marked Cedar Fair's conference call to discuss the company's 3rd quarter earnings.  After posting some very solid numbers, I thought I'd pull out the interesting parts of the call here.

• After the good third quarter, the company has seen an additional million visitors in the first 9 months of 2010 compared to 2009.

• Halloween provided record results for Cedar Fair this year.  The period saw attendance increase 29% and revenues 25%.  The weather was pretty much perfect for all of the Halloween events, and compared to the misery that was last year's weather, I'm sure that helped.

• A $2 million settlement of a dispute over licensing with Paramount Pictures is mentioned, which is quite interesting.  Would love to hear the details of that one.  There's also a $9.5 settlement for an unnamed lawsuit.

• For the first 10 months of the year (by far most of the company's operating season), attendance is up 1.6 million visits, and revenues are up $60 million.  In park spending is down 1%, out of park revenues are up $6 million.

• The recent promotions are part of the succession planning for Kinzel's retirement.  It sounds like Kinzel plans to leave when his contract is up on January 2, 2012.  The search for a new leader will take place both inside and outside the company.

• The distribution to unit holders will officially start again in 2011, where $20 will be paid out - or $0.35 per unit.  It will be paid on a quarterly basis.

• The hours at Carowinds will be extended in 2011 to include 10 pm closing times.  I had no idea they closed so early previously!  Carowinds' Starlight Spectacular is a part of that, fireworks are mentioned too.  Kings Dominion is referenced in comparison to Carowind's 2011 efforts, so perhaps we'll see a night time activity there too?

• Total capital expenditures for 2011 are now listed at $70 million, which in my book still leaves about $26 million in unannounced items.  Still waiting to make sense of that - that's a huge number to be unaccounted for.  There's some talk of a big 2012 Knott's project starting, perhaps some of it is for work on that?  Still just a rumor though.


rihard2000 said...

I believe the $9.5 million settlement is from a class action lawsuit involving California employees who claimed they were not receiving their break time.

I'm with you as wondering about the Paramount details.